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What Landlords Need to Know About Tenants and Military Duty

United States Soldier Being Greeted by His Young SonWhen engaging to tenants who are members of the U.S. military, there are specific federal laws that change the way a property owner can legally conduct business. Renting to military tenants is unique as compared to other tenants, especially when it is about tenants who break their lease or are periodically absent for training, securing the property, and collecting late rental payments. As a lessor, it is a must to know what the law says as well as how it may affect the tenant-landlord relationship in order to avoid violating your tenant’s rights.

Breaking the Lease

Workers of the U.S. military are beneficiaries of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), whose purpose is to support active military personnel including their families handle certain financial and legal obligations. The  Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA),  is applicable to many situations, not to mention an active member of the military who is also a renter. Imposed under this federal law, it is a requirement to allow a tenant to break a lease without penalty if certain conditions are met.

Suppose that, if military personnel receive orders of transfer (deploy or induction) more than 35 miles from the property, a discharge, or if there is a loss of life, they can legally break their lease. Honoring a military tenant’s desire to break their lease can be a burden, by law renters cannot be penalized or their security or other deposits withheld for breaking a lease due to transfers or other service-related circumstances.

Training Absences

Active members of the military are frequently mandated to attend training at locations around theIn case you are close by, you can pay special attention to your property everything considered to ensure that nothing is amiss. Nonetheless, in the event that you are not in a position to do as such, there are various options that may help keep your property secure during your tenant’s absence country. This is dependent on which branch of the military the person is a member of and also the location where they have been stationed, this training could be as short as two weeks or as long as a month or more. Whenever a tenant announces that they will be gone for training, it is important to note that even an extended absence is not grounds for eviction or other legal action. With the hopes that the tenant intends to return to the property and continues to fulfill the lease terms, the owner must do too.

Securing the Property

In the event of an extended absence, owners might have second thoughts about the security of their rental house. Vacant houses tend to attract problems, ranging from vandals to break-ins among other things. If you live close by, you can always check on your property to guarantee that nothing is out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, if you are not far away and cannot visit often, there are other ways that may help keep your property protected while your tenant is gone, from security systems to hiring a property management company such as Real Property Management Traditions to guarantee the security of your rental home.

Collecting Late Rental Payments

Another protection offered by federal law is the stipulation to delay eviction proceedings in cases like nonpayment of rent. Whenever a tenant or one of his or her dependents is living in the rental house during their active military service, and the rent is $3,851.03 per month or less, then the court is required to give the tenant at least 90 days to address the situation. The SCRA does not prevent a landlord from serving an eviction notice, but it may prevent you from taking action against a servicemember tenant or their dependents.

In Conclusion

Doing business with tenants who are active members of the military consumes both time and knowledge of the law. For many rental property investors unaware of the law, there are a lot of things to watch out for to avoid legal trouble. Employing Real Property Management Traditions is also a great move. Our team of Littlerock property managers have experience leasing properties to military tenants and have a full understanding of all related federal, state, and local laws. With our knowledge of the subject, you can rest assured that we will take care of your valuable investment and keep yourself and your tenant free from legal complications. Contact us today for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.